Children’s Ministry – Army Style

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I have had the privilege of leading in ministry to children and families in various civilian settings for 20 years. One question in my mind was if I would be giving that up to serve Soldiers once I answered the call to Army chaplaincy. In less than a year into my first term of service I have my answer. A resounding YES!

One thing I have discovered is how much the Army does care about Families. They recognize that Strong Families make Strong Soldiers. Some folks may say their goals aren’t always quite met, but the intent and effort are there.

My Sunday place of duty is the Main Post Chapel on Ft. Benning. But not necessarily in the main sanctuary. Rather, with the preschoolers and Kindergartners in “Promise Land.” In fact, I am back to doing what I did at Haddock Baptist for several years. Leading youngsters in corporate worship and in Christian education. Only this time, it’s providing ministry to the children of Soldiers and their Families. During the weekdays I serve Soldiers, and on Sundays am honored to serve their children. And I love it! I’m very grateful for the time at Fort Jackson’s Chapel Next and the opportunity to help lead Children there.

I see more and more that God has a Plan. God takes our experiences and skills and places in areas where we are most needed, if we let him. I’m already starting to get to know the individual kids and their mannerisms. And when my own teen children are here they willingly assist in Childrens Worship with me. They never thought that they too would be serving Soldiers’ children!

I’m meeting with the lead Chaplain at the Crossroads service (the Chapel service I work at) to brainstorm ideas for fall Childrens Christian education, as well as discuss other ideas, at his request.

Later this month our 3-1 Cav unit is hosting another Organizational Day. Our Commander and Command Sergeant Major are both strong family men. They stress to the men and women of our Squadron to take time for Family. Our lead Chaplain and others on our team are also strong proponents of Family time. Thank God for all those VBSes, Beehive Clubs, and Harvest Festivals at Haddock Baptist. For now, on July 26, I will be working with my UMT staff (2 Assistants) and other Soldiers to bring in and conduct many of the same children’s activities and games we used at Haddock. And thank God for that church. They sent me out as a missionary to Soldiers and their Families, and have supported me. I hope to borrow some of the same equipment we used at those Haddock events, to provide ministry to Soldiers’ children at our Org Day. Im also developing a new tool that can be used as a visual aid in Christian education and worship with Soldiers in the field, or their kids at Chapel. “The fields are ripe for the harvest – time for a new ‘farm tool’!”

Every Chaplain serves Soldiers and Families, but we each have our different faiths and methods. I knew back in college – well, before that even as a young staffer at RA Camp Glynn, that ministry to young people would be my niche in ministry. And it has been, in all types of settings. I never imagined the Army would be a place God would lead me to do that in. But now that I’m still part of the Kelley Hill team serving at Main Post Chapel, I found a place of service looking for more males – ezpecially Chaplains. And when the director showed me the resources in the closet, I felt right at home. For I had purchased many of the exact same things for use at Haddock Baptist. So is the Army Chaplaincy a new career for me? No Sir!! It’s a continuation of what I’ve always been doing – just in a different setting.

I love the Army. I love serving Soldiers. And I love serving their Families. Thank you God for this rich and rewarding opportunity!

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2 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by Keith Jones on 21 September 12 at 00:22

    Hey, William, our Association has a couple of ministry trailers with inflatables-bouncy house and slide-any possibility we might bring a group some Saturday or Sunday to help with ministry to soldiers’ kids?

    Reply

    • That’s a big affirmative on the bouncy house(s). I actually could use your help on Saturday, October 13. I just need to get it approved. I will call the number you gave me tomorrow. And the date in February looks good at this point. Still following Acts 1:8 here. Still a Scout. Still an Ambassador for Christ, although there’s no chapter on post. But my derby cars are on display in my office so when Soldiers come in the cars make good conversation pieces about RAs. Thanks so much for contacting!

      Reply

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